Imagine, 8 years into your journey, reaching the goal of becoming a pro rider in the sport you’ve grown to love. It’s a new chapter and in motocross it’s the start of joining an elite group of the fastest riders in the world. George Hammel started racing motocross in 1990 at the age of 12 and within 8 years, he was racing his first professional national at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardio, CA.
That’s when the unimaginable happened; he made a mistake coming down a high speed hill and hit a large jump with too much speed ejecting him through the air and landing on his feet, compressing his body, shattering his L1 vertebrae, breaking both lower portions of his legs, both his arms, his pelvis, and fracturing his skull. The surgeons fused and inserted plates, from the T12 to the L2, furthermore, he was told he’d be a paraplegic for the duration of his life and of course, never walk again.
The mind of a competitor never accepts a notion of “never,” and George is no different. Not completely accepting his diagnosis, the process of coming back had begun. The chapters of his journey have been very inspirational. There are no excuses. I hadn’t ridden a bicycle in years, but in 2011, George’s participation in the 42 mile route of the El Tour de Tucson inspired me to give it a go. I was thinking I’ll do the 42 or 85 mile loop, but during one of our rides is when I discovered he was shooting for the full 111 miles in 2012. So the goal was set; never ridden more than 15 miles in my life, but if George can do it, so could I. Reaching one of our distance goals of 50 miles, I commented on how my feet went numb after 35 miles or so, did anyone else have the same problem? George responded with “I can’t feel my feet.” It’s that easy to forget of his disability because it’s never an excuse.
Today, George is aware of his abilities and continues to go after ever changing goals and dreams. We are honored to support his team and efforts. George takes charge of his designs and has element 7 wrap his Polaris RZR to promote his sponsors, raise brand recognition and share his journey. To find out more about George, go to his website at GeorgeHammel.com